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May 7, 2014

Cal Poly to Face No. 6 Seed UCLA in NCAA Tournament on Saturday

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly men's tennis team will open the NCAA Tournament by taking on the No. 6 overall seed, UCLA, in a first-round match at noon Saturday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

The Bruins (22-3) are one of 16 programs around the country hosting four teams each for the initial two rounds of the 64-team championship field.

UCLA has won 16 national titles since the 1950s, including most recently in 2005. The Bruins were the runner-up a year ago.

"The guys on the team are excited," Mustang head coach Nick Carless said. "I think we knew (before the Selection Show) we were going to USC or UCLA. There are only eight schools in Division I that have ever won a national title, and UCLA has several of them."

The Bruins won the Pac-12 Tournament final over No. 1 USC in Ojai on April 26, 4-2. They feature the ITA's top-ranked singles player in the country, senior Clay Thompson (37-5 overall), as well as No. 2, junior Marcos Giron (22-4), in addition to three others also ranked in the top 95.

Cal Poly won the Big West Tournament championship on April 27 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 4-1 over Hawai'i.

No. 25 Boise State (28-4) and No. 39 San Diego (17-7) are paired up in the other half of the regional. They'll play at 9 a.m.

The Toreros are coached by Brett Masi, who played for Cal Poly from 1997 through 2000, going 49-26 in singles during dual play. He was an All-Big West First Team honoree as a senior with the Mustangs.

The second-round match will be held at noon Sunday.

The team to advance to the Sweet 16 will move on to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. from May 16-20.

The Mustangs last made it to the NCAA Tournament on a full team basis in 2012, when they fell 4-1 to No. 22 Texas Tech, at Cal.

Marco Comuzzo and Jurgen De Jager (now both seniors) teamed to help the Mustangs clinch the doubles point versus the Red Raiders, winning 8-6 over Jeff Bryan and Raphael Pfister.

De Jager's singles opportunity with Francisco Zambon then went unfinished; he was up in the third set at the time, 2-6, 6-2, 4-3.

A year earlier, Cal Poly made its Division I postseason debut as an at-large squad, falling 4-0 to No. 25 Washington, at Stanford.

Comuzzo, then a freshman, also played in that one. His doubles match ended unfinished (with he and Jordan Bridge leading 6-5) before he challenged the Huskies' Marton Bots at No. 5 in a 6-4, 7-6 (2) loss.